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'The Crown,' 'Ted Lasso,' 'Queen's Gambit' top Emmy Awards

  • 20 Sep 2021

Streaming services Netflix and Apple TV+ saw a first at Emmys 2021, winning top series honours and cementing their rise to prominence in the television industry.

A general view shows the red carpet ahead of the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, US, on September 19, 2021. ( Reuters )

Netflix’s “The Crown” and “The Queen’s Gambit” combined with Apple TV+’s “Ted Lasso” have won top series honours at the Emmy Awards, a first for streaming services that cemented their rise to prominence in the television industry.

“The Crown” was Sunday night’s biggest winner, with seven awards including a sweep of the dramatic acting categories.

It beat out its fellow nominees “Bridgerton,” “The Boys,” “The Handmaid’s Tale,” “Lovecraft Country,” “The Mandalorian,” “Pose” and “This Is Us.”

Stars Olivia Colman and Josh O'Connor won the top drama acting honours, with Jason Sudeikis, star of the warm-hearted “Ted Lasso," and Jean Smart of the generation-gap story “Hacks,” winners on the comedy side.

“I'd have put money on that not happening,” Colman said of the award, calling it “a lovely end to the most extraordinary journey” with the show's cast and creators.

READ MORE: Netflix eyes top prize with 'The Crown' as in-person Emmys return

Honouring those who have passed

Smart, who received a standing ovation, began her acceptance speech on a somber note: Her husband actor, Richard Gilliland, died six months ago.

“I would not be here without him” and his willingness to put her career first, said Smart. 

Colman cut her remarks short, explaining she was growing tearful because she lost her father "during Covid, and he would have loved all of this.”

Before announcing the winner in his category, presenter Kerry Washington saluted another nominee, Michael K. Williams of “Lovecraft County.” Williams died Sept. 6 at age 54.

Another lost star was remembered by John Oliver of “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.”

“No one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald on late-night comedy," Oliver said in accepting the Emmy for best variety talk show, suggesting people spend time checking out clips of Macdonald, as he did after Macdonald died September 14 at age 61.

READ MORE: Actor Michael K. Williams found dead in NYC apartment

Celebrating women

Kate Winslet, who played the title character in “Mare of Easttown,” and Ewan McGregor, who starred in the fashion biopic “Halston,” were honoured as top actors for a limited series.

Winslet saluted her sister nominees in “this decade that has to be about women having each other’s back.”

Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed best supporting acting honours for “Mare of Easttown,” about crime and family dysfunction.

Debbie Allen received the Governors Award for a long and acclaimed career as an actor, dancer, choreographer and activist

“I am trembling with gratitude and grace and trying not to cry ... it’s been many years in the making, taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time. Courage and creative and fight and faith to believe I could keep going, and I have,” she said.

Importance of TV during the pandemic

Roughly 500 people attended the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles, with fashion standout Billy Porter sporting large wings attached to the sleeves of his black trouser look and Sudeikis walked the red carpet in a velvet suit of soft blue.

The producers' ultimate goal is a ceremony that is upbeat and acknowledges how much TV's importance grew during the pandemic and its lockdowns.

The show opened with a musical number that featured host Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit “Just a Friend” with lyrics like “TV, you got what I need.” LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars like Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.

READ MORE: Covid pushes Emmy Awards outdoors

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